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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 738

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 02/16/2017 09:19am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to human services; modernizing and modifying certain provisions of the
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Act; appropriating money;amending Minnesota
Statutes 2016, sections 256C.23, subdivision 2, by adding a subdivision; 256C.233,
subdivisions 1, 2; 256C.24, subdivisions 1, 2; 256C.261; repealing Minnesota
Statutes 2016, sections 256C.23, subdivision 3; 256C.233, subdivision 4; 256C.25,
subdivisions 1, 2.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 256C.23, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Deaf.

"Deaf" means a hearing loss of such severity that the individual must
depend primarily on visual communication such asnew text begin American Sign Language,new text end writing, deleted text beginlipdeleted text endnew text begin
speech
new text end reading, deleted text beginmanual communication,deleted text end and gestures.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 256C.23, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Real-time captioning. new text end

new text begin "Real-time captioning" means a method of captioning
in which a caption is simultaneously prepared and displayed or transmitted at the time of
origination by specially trained real-time captioners.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 256C.233, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Division.

The commissioners of
deleted text begin human services,deleted text end education, employment and economic development, and health shall deleted text begincreate
a distinct and separate organizational unit to be known as
deleted text endnew text begin advise the commissioner of human
services on the activities of
new text end the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Division deleted text beginto addressdeleted text endnew text begin.
This division addresses
new text end the developmentaldeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin and new text end socialdeleted text begin, educational, and occupationaldeleted text end needs
ofnew text begin persons who arenew text end deaf,new text begin persons who arenew text end deafblind, andnew text begin persons who arenew text end hard-of-hearing
deleted text begin personsdeleted text end through a statewide network of deleted text begincollaborativedeleted text end services and deleted text beginby coordinating the
promulgation of public policies, regulations, legislation, and programs affecting
deleted text endnew text begin advocates
on behalf of and provides information and training about how to best serve persons who
are
new text end deaf,new text begin persons who arenew text end deafblind, andnew text begin persons who arenew text end hard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text end. deleted text beginAn
interdepartmental management team shall advise the activities of the Deaf and
Hard-of-Hearing Services Division.
deleted text end The commissioner of human services shall coordinate
the work of the interagency deleted text beginmanagement teamdeleted text endnew text begin advisersnew text end and receive legislative appropriations
for the division.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 256C.233, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Responsibilities.

The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Division shall:

(1) establish and maintain a statewide network of regional service centers for new text beginMinnesotans
who are
new text enddeaf,new text begin Minnesotans who arenew text end deafblind, andnew text begin Minnesotans who arenew text end hard-of-hearing
deleted text begin Minnesotansdeleted text end;

(2) deleted text beginassistdeleted text endnew text begin work across divisions within new text end the deleted text beginDepartmentsdeleted text endnew text begin Departmentnew text end of Human Services,
deleted text begin Education, and Employment and Economic Development to coordinate the promulgation
and implementation of public policies, regulations, legislation, programs, and services
affecting
deleted text endnew text begin as well as with other agencies and counties, to ensure that there is an understanding
of:
new text end

new text begin (i) the communication challenges faced by persons who arenew text end deaf,new text begin persons who arenew text end
deafblind, andnew text begin persons who arenew text end hard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (ii) the best practices for accommodating and mitigating communication challenges;
and
new text end

new text begin (iii) the legal requirements for providing access to and effective communication with
persons who are deaf, persons who are deafblind, and persons who are hard-of-hearing
new text end; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(3) deleted text beginprovide a coordinated system ofdeleted text endnew text begin assess the supply and demand new text end statewide deleted text begininterpreting
or
deleted text endnew text begin fornew text end interpreter deleted text beginreferraldeleted text end servicesdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin and real-time captioning services, implement strategies
to provide greater access to these services in areas without sufficient supply, and build the
base of service providers across the state;
new text end

new text begin (4) maintain a statewide directory of certified interpreters;
new text end

new text begin (5) provide culturally affirmative psychiatric services in American Sign Language to
persons who are deaf and persons who are deafblind;
new text end

new text begin (6) research and develop best practices and recommendations for emerging issues; and
new text end

new text begin (7) provide as much information as possible on the division's Web site in American Sign
Language.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 256C.24, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Location.

The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Division shall establish
deleted text begin up to eightdeleted text endnew text begin at least sixnew text end regional service centers fornew text begin persons who arenew text end deaf andnew text begin persons who
are
new text end hard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text end. The centers shall be distributed regionally to provide access
fornew text begin persons who arenew text end deaf,new text begin persons who arenew text end deafblind, andnew text begin persons who arenew text end hard-of-hearing
deleted text begin personsdeleted text end in all parts of the state.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 256C.24, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Responsibilities.

new text begin(a) new text endEach regional service center shall:

(1) deleted text beginserve as a central entry point fordeleted text endnew text begin establish connections, and explore co-locating, with
other public and private entities providing services to persons who are
new text end deaf,new text begin persons who
are
new text end deafblind, andnew text begin persons who arenew text end hard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersons in need of services and make
referrals to the services needed
deleted text endnew text begin in the regionnew text end;

new text begin (2) for those in need of services, assist in coordinating services between service providers
and persons who are deaf, persons who are deafblind, and persons who are hard-of-hearing,
and the persons' families, and make referrals to the services needed;
new text end

deleted text begin (2)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end employ staff trained to work withnew text begin persons who arenew text end deaf,new text begin persons who arenew text end deafblind,
andnew text begin persons who arenew text end hard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text end;

deleted text begin (3)deleted text endnew text begin (4) if adequate services are not available from another public or private service
provider in the region,
new text end provide deleted text beginto alldeleted text endnew text begin individual assistance to persons who are new text end deaf, new text beginpersons
who are
new text enddeafblind, andnew text begin persons who arenew text end hard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersons access to interpreter services
which are necessary to help them obtain services
deleted text endnew text begin, and the persons' familiesnew text end;

new text begin (5) provide or coordinate training for persons who are deaf, persons who are deafblind,
and persons who are hard-of-hearing, and the persons' families, and other service providers
about subjects including the persons' rights under the law, American Sign Language, and
the impact of hearing loss and methods for accommodating it;
new text end

deleted text begin (4) implement a plan todeleted text endnew text begin (6)new text end provide loaned equipment and resource materials to new text beginpersons
who are
new text enddeaf, new text beginpersons who are new text enddeafblind, and new text beginpersons who are new text endhard-of-hearing new text beginand a lab
where
new text endpersonsnew text begin who are deaf, persons who are deafblind, and persons who are hard-of-hearing
can try equipment to determine what would best meet the persons' needs
new text end;

deleted text begin (5) cooperate with responsible departments and administrative authorities to provide
access for deaf, deafblind, and hard-of-hearing persons to services provided by state, county,
and regional agencies;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (6)deleted text endnew text begin (7)new text end collaborate with the deleted text beginResource Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Persons,
other divisions of the
deleted text end Department of Educationdeleted text begin,deleted text end and local school districts to develop and
deliver programs and services for families with new text beginchildren who are new text enddeaf, new text beginchildren who are
new text end deafblind, or new text beginchildren who are new text endhard-of-hearing deleted text beginchildrendeleted text end and to support school personnel
serving these children;

deleted text begin (7) when possible,deleted text endnew text begin (8)new text end provide training to the social service or income maintenance staff
employed by counties or by organizations with whom counties contract for services to
ensure that communication barriers which preventnew text begin persons who arenew text end deaf, new text beginpersons who are
new text end deafblind, andnew text begin persons who arenew text end hard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text end from using services are removed;

deleted text begin (8) when possible,deleted text endnew text begin (9)new text end provide training to deleted text beginstate and regionaldeleted text end human service agenciesnew text begin in
the region
new text end regarding program access for new text beginpersons who are new text enddeaf, new text beginpersons who are new text enddeafblind,
and new text beginpersons who are new text endhard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text end; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

deleted text begin (9)deleted text endnew text begin (10)new text end assess the ongoing need and supply of services for new text beginpersons who are new text enddeaf, new text beginpersons
who are
new text enddeafblind, and new text beginpersons who are new text endhard-of-hearing deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text end in all parts of the state and
cooperate with public and private service providers to develop these servicesdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (11) provide culturally affirmative mental health services in American Sign Language
to persons who are deaf and persons who are deafblind; and
new text end

new text begin (12) establish partnerships with state and regional entities in other regional centers so
that Minnesotans who live closer to the other regional centers can access assistance and
training via technology.
new text end

new text begin (b) Persons who are deaf, persons who are deafblind, and persons who are
hard-of-hearing, and the persons' family members who travel more than 50 miles round-trip
from the persons' home or work location to receive services at the regional service center
may be reimbursed for mileage at the reimbursement rate established by the Internal Revenue
Service. Staff must not travel to a client's home to provide services.
new text end

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 256C.261, is amended to read:


256C.261 SERVICES FOR new text beginPERSONS WHO ARE new text endDEAFBLIND deleted text beginPERSONSdeleted text end.

(a) The commissioner of human services shall deleted text begincombine the existing biennial base level
funding for deafblind services into a single
deleted text endnew text begin provide anew text end grant programnew text begin for deafblind services
through which all programs for persons who are deafblind shall be delivered
new text end. At least 35
percent of the total funding is awarded for services and other supports to new text beginchildren who are
new text end deafblind deleted text beginchildrendeleted text end and their families and at least 25 percent is awarded for services and
other supports to new text beginadults who are new text enddeafblind deleted text beginadultsdeleted text end.

The commissioner shall award grants for the purposes of:

(1) providing services and supports to deleted text beginindividualsdeleted text endnew text begin personsnew text end who are deafblind; and

(2) developing and providing training to counties and the network of senior citizen
service providers. The purpose of the training grants is to teach counties how to use existing
programs that capture federal financial participation to meet the needs of eligible new text beginpersons
who are
new text enddeafblind deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text end and to build capacity of senior service programs to meet the
needs of seniors with a dual sensory hearing and vision loss.

(b) The commissioner may make grants:

(1) for services and training provided by organizations; and

(2) to develop and administer consumer-directed services.

(c) Any entity that is able to satisfy the grant criteria is eligible to receive a grant under
paragraph (a).

(d) Deafblind service providers may, but are not required to, provide intervenor services
as part of the service package provided with grant funds under this section.

Sec. 8. new text beginDIRECTION TO COMMISSIONER; TELECOMMUNICATION
EQUIPMENT PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin The commissioner of human services shall work in consultation with the Commission
of Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard-of-Hearing Minnesotans to provide recommendations by
January 15, 2018, to the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives
and senate committees with jurisdiction over human services to modernize the
telecommunication equipment program. The recommendations must include draft legislative
language.
new text end

Sec. 9. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS; DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING SERVICES.
new text end

new text begin (a) $800,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $800,000 in fiscal year 2019 are appropriated from
the general fund to the commissioner of human services for the purposes of the Deaf and
Hard-of-Hearing Division under Minnesota Statutes, section 256C.233. Twenty percent of
this appropriation must be used for technology improvements, technology support, and
training for staff on the use of technology. This appropriation is added to the base.
new text end

new text begin (b) $700,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $700,000 in fiscal year 2019 are appropriated from
the general fund to the commissioner of human services for the purposes of deaf and
hard-of-hearing grants. The funds must be used to provide services to Minnesotans who are
deafblind under Minnesota Statutes, section 256C.261, and to provide linguistically and
culturally appropriate mental health services to children who are deaf, children who are
deafblind, and children who are hard-of-hearing. Of this appropriation, $103,000 in each
year is to increase the grant to provide mentors who have hearing loss to parents of infants
and children with newly identified hearing loss. This appropriation is added to the base.
new text end

Sec. 10. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 256C.23, subdivision 3; 256C.233, subdivision 4;
and 256C.25, subdivisions 1 and 2,
new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end

APPENDIX

Repealed Minnesota Statutes: 17-2373

256C.23 DEFINITIONS.

Subd. 3.

Regional service center.

"Regional service center" means a facility designed to provide an entry point for deaf, deafblind, and hard-of-hearing persons of that region in need of education, employment, social, human, or other services.

256C.233 DUTIES OF STATE AGENCIES.

Subd. 4.

State commissioners.

The commissioners of all state agencies shall consult with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Division concerning the promulgation of public policies, regulations, and programs necessary to address the needs of deaf, deafblind, and hard-of-hearing Minnesotans. Each state agency shall consult with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Division concerning the need to forward legislative initiatives to the governor to address the concerns of deaf, deafblind, and hard-of-hearing Minnesotans.

256C.25 INTERPRETER SERVICES.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services Division shall maintain and coordinate statewide interpreting or interpreter referral services for use by any public or private agency or individual in the state. The division shall directly coordinate these services but may contract with an appropriate agency to provide this service. The division may collect a $3 fee per referral for interpreter referral services and the actual costs of interpreter services provided by department staff. Fees and payments collected shall be deposited in the general fund. The $3 referral fee shall not be collected from state agencies or local units of government or deaf or hard-of-hearing consumers or interpreters.

Subd. 2.

Duties.

Interpreting or interpreter referral services must include:

(1) statewide access to interpreter referral and direct interpreting services, coordinated with the regional service centers;

(2) maintenance of a statewide directory of qualified interpreters;

(3) assessment of the present and projected supply and demand for interpreter services statewide; and

(4) coordination with the regional service centers on projects to train interpreters and advocate for and evaluate interpreter services.